Welcome to the Remastered Queen Mary 2
Cunard offered the first scheduled passenger service across the Atlantic and pioneered the use of navigational lights on ships; the use of electric lights; the introduction of suites, children’s playrooms and libraries. The Queen Mary 2 debuted with the largest library at sea, the only planetarium on a cruise ship and the largest dance floor.
Now the vessel has been remastered. The most significant refurbishment in its 12-year history, the ship's framework was stripped out at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg and the interiors redone.
Cunard spent $132 million Cunard on the 25-day refit which was largely inspired by the original Queen Mary. The remaster was completed in June and included new dining venues and new carpets, artwork, soft furnishings, light fittings and decorative ironmongery, both in cabins and public spaces. There are also 30 new Britannia Club staterooms, 50 new cabins, including single cabins, and 10 new kennels (22 in total). Owners and pets can spend time together in a new kennel lounge.
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) was announced to the world on June 8, 1999 as Project Queen Mary – a project that would see the largest ocean liner built at the time.
The ship was designed by a team of British naval architects led by Stephen Payne, and was constructed in France by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in 2003. On January 12, 2004, QM2, the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive passenger ship in history at that time departed from Cunard’s home port, Southampton, on her maiden voyage.
During the 2004 Athens Olympics, QM2 played a central role providing accommodation for athletes’ families. She was also host to then U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and U.S. President George Bush. She was also home to the U.S. men's basketball team.
During 2005, QM2 was selected to carry the first U.S. (signed) copy of JK Rowling's book Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince in a steamer trunk.
Due to her size, she was unable to transit the Panama Canal, and so, during her 2006 circumnavigation of South America she rounded Cape Horn - and successfully repeated this voyage for her 2007 Maiden World Cruise, visiting the East Coast of the U.S. as a result.
In September of 2010, QM2 was left adrift for several hours after a catastrophic failure of a capacitor in the aft harmonic filter room while approaching Barcelona. The situation was rectified by the onboard crew.
In 2011, QM2 set sail on her fourth World Cruise. During this voyage the ship's schedule was interrupted due to the Christchurch Earthquakes, and the Japanese Tsunami. In New Zealand the ship diverted to the unaffected Wellington, while in Japan, QM2 shortened her stay in order to avoid any danger from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Powerplant.
During November 2011, the ship underwent a refurbishment at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg. Here, the vessels port of registration was changed from Southampton (UK) to Hamilton (Bermuda) marking the end of 170 years of British Cunard flagships. Other work undertaken during the refit included a complete redesign of the Golden Lion Pub, as well as the installation of flat screen televisions in all cabins and miles of new carpeting installed throughout the ship.
In 2012, QM2 completed her first circumnavigation of Australia. The voyage sold out within hours of going on sale, and its success was followed by a circumnavigation of New Zealand in 2013.
In 2013, QM2 completed her 200th transatlantic crossing. She also made headlines in September when she was called to the aid of Mylene Paquette, who was attempting to become the first North American to row the Atlantic solo.
2014 marked the tenth anniversary of QM2 and to celebrate a series of special events were arranged. This culminated with the meeting of the three Cunard Queens in May. All three liners met both in Lisbon as well as Southampton.
On May 25, 2015, all three Queens met, once again, at Liverpool, in order to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the shipping line.
Tonnage: 148,528 GT
Displacement: 79,297 tons
Length: 1,132 feet (345m)
Beam: 135 feet (41m) waterline, 147.5 feet (45.0m) extreme (bridge wings)
Height: 236.2 feet (72.0m) keel to (top of) funnel
Draught: 33 feet (10.1m)
Decks: 14 passenger, 18 total decks
Installed power: four x Wärtsilä 16V 46C-CR / 16,800 kW (22,848 mHP), 2 x GE LM2500+ / 25,060 kW (34,082 mHP)
Propulsion: four 21.5 MW Rolls-Royce/Alstom "Mermaid" electric propulsion pods: 2 fixed and 2 azimuthing
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Capacity: 2,695 passengers (2016 refit onwards) 2,620 passengers (original design)
Crew: 1,253 officers and crew
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.